By Kathy Martin…

Written March 2015

Recently we (my wife and I) have had a few “feel-good “happenings, which have reinforced our love for this country and people.

We live in an apartment complex where we are almost the only “European” Ex-pat residents. When we see our Turkish speaking neighbours, we greet them with the appropriate pleasantries in Turkish, to which they respond in kind.

A few days ago, after being out on a warm, sunny day, we had left our car windows open overnight, as is our wont during the summer. The following morning we woke to the sound of falling rain, and so resigned ourselves to having to sit on soaking wet car seats, when we next went out.

However, on going to the car we found that our windows had been closed and the seats only slightly damp! We thought that it may have been two 8 (ish) and 10 (ish) children in the next-door flat. In fact, speaking through the 10 year old girl, who is learning English at school; it transpired that it was her mother, who had done the kindly deed.

As we had spoken to and played with her children in the swimming pool during the summer, she regarded us as good neighbours and she, also, wanted to be a good neighbour!

Again, a few days ago I got advice that a registered letter had been sent to me and could be collected at the main post office. As we couldn’t park immediately outside to post office, my wife parked (slightly, OK, completely) illegally on double yellow lines while I rushed inside. Rushing was not a good idea, as I had a rather minor asthma attack, as I neared the designated counter, where there was a rather long queue.

Although, I was prepared to wait my turn, a young woman from the “stamp” counter bustled up to me, took my registration slip (which I had in my hand), bustled away, to return a couple of minutes later with my letter!

Meanwhile, outside our car was involved in our first traffic accident! The wing mirror of a passing car had hit our wing mirror, but didn’t cause any damage. The driver parked a few metres further down the road, got out, and with concern, in both his body and (Turkish) spoken language, made sure that our car was undamaged, before he drove away!

Armenia – Turkey and right a bit!

Last week in one of the local “English language” newspapers I noticed a report that the European parliament has urged the European Union to recognise that Turkey, under the Ottomans, committed genocide of about a million Armenians during 1915, almost a century ago!

I have, of course, heard of both modern Turkey, and, historically, when that country was under Ottoman rule. I had also heard, admittedly, somewhat vaguely, of Armenia, imagining to be (geographically) “Turkey and right a bit” if I was standing on the equator.

As I was rather confused as to what relevance or importance that the genocide had to modern Europe, I did some research.

I am no longer rather confused, I am now TOTALLY baffled, bemused, bothered and bewildered! As I thought, Armenia is a country of about 3 million people that is indeed “Turkey and right a bit”, as it is bordered on the east by Turkey.

While I accept that the genocide of a large portion of any population (records in this case vary between 600,000 to 1.6 million) is worthy of condemnation, but, again I ask of the European Parliament, what relevance or importance is this historic genocide to the modern European Union?

Turkey is not a member of the EU, nor is Armenia! Indeed, the Ottoman rule in Turkey, under which the Armenian genocide occurred, ended in 1922.

Therefore, I have to ask again, why, oh why, are the European Union politicians wasting time and money on this motion? After all, to blame, or point the finger at modern Turkey is tantamount to blaming modern Germany for the genocide of millions of European Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, dwarves and people with physical deformities in concentration camps before the Second World War ended in 1945!

In my opinion, there are two reasons for this attempt at “Turkey bashing”.

  • Firstly, because Turkey is an Islamic country, it is to ensure that Turkey will NEVER be accepted into the “Christian club” of the European Union.
  • Possibly, of more relevance, Armenia is a Christian country.  To my mind this means that Europe won’t accept or ignore even the historic genocide of Christians, yet is quite happy to accept the recent (within living memory) genocide of Muslims.

Why did I put into print that final sentence of the above paragraph?

Europe has consistently and stubbornly ignored the genocide of Muslim Turkish Cypriots that began in the Christmas week of 1963! This genocide was committed by Greek and Greek Cypriot terrorists in a land that was dominated by the “Christian” Greek Orthodox Church!

But, of course, silly me, it would be both religiously and politically incorrect for “Christian” Europe to admit and face up to the truth if a diversionary tactical option is available.

Just a thought!

Now, while remaining on an Islamic theme, for something completely different, as the Monty Python team used to say!

Women in niqabs

Our good friend Suzee e-mailed to us a film clip about a young woman returning to her home town (Luton) in 2010 after an absence of some years.

The film shows her caught on the edges of a demonstration and protest march being carried out by scores or even hundreds of Muslims. While the demonstration was, I suppose, technically “peaceful”, but the members of the crowd were both loud and aggressive and would have been a terrifying experience for any bystander.

The demonstrators carried placards that said “UK Go To Hell”, and “UK Police Go To Hell”, as well as shouting both of these slogans. I strongly support the right for any individual or group to protest, if there are valid grounds.

However, in this case, it transpired that the protest was about the arrest of a Muslim woman because of her involvement in, or connection with, a terrorist bomb attack in Stockholm in 2010. Therefore, she wasn’t unjustifiably arrested because she was a Muslim, but justifiably arrested because of her involvement in terrorism!

This is a fact that must have been known, certainly by the ringleaders of the protest, but, to be charitable, it is possible, just possible, that it may have been quietly “airbrushed” out of the information given out to the Muslim community as a whole.

The film clip showed that the protest could very easily become a “mob rule” riot and rampage through the streets by what is still presumably, countrywide, a religious and ethnic minority , a terrifying prospect.

A question springs to mind: a quid pro quo, can Christian protestors have the same freedom of expression in ALL of the Muslim countries in the world?

No, I didn’t think so!

OK, back to the young woman who had returned to her roots. She was attractively (but not, in this red-blooded male’s view, sexily provocative) in a short sleeved blouse and trousers. However, she was surrounded by women in niqabs who badgered, harassed and bullied her.

She was asked who (by dressing as she did) she was trying to seduce, and told to go home and put some clothes on! She protested in vain that she had the freedom of choice as to what she could wear, as, presumably, did the women who chose to wear a niqab.

She, also, protested in vain that as Islam is founded on the Qur’an, a book of peace, Muslims shouldn’t wish people to be condemned to hell.

Leaving aside, for the moment anyway, the religious or even racial and secular bigotry and dogma, what can be done about situations where people power threatens life or property?

To be purely and coldly logical, there is only the choice of two options, each at the opposite end of the spectrum.

  • The first is for the establishment to remain passive and inert, allowing revolution and anarchy to rule!
  • The second is for the establishment to maintain a strong domestic paramilitary police force that is capable of instantly crushing any anti-establishment groups or actions in order to maintain the status quo.

Fortunately, in “real life” a compromise between these two extremes can usually be reached and maintained.

Hornet’s nest

Unfortunately, also in “real life” there will always be rabble rousers, who vociferously espouse a cause either out of genuine emotion or just for the fun of poking a stick into a hornets’ nest, and there will always be sheep that will rally to their cries!

Really, really unfortunately, doesn’t this lead directly back to purely cold logical solutions answers, as shown above?

Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles
These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum